MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Valdosta State Athletics) — Behind a career-high 20 points on 7 of 10 from the field and a career-best 5 of 7 from beyond the arc, Valdosta State senior Delaney Bernard led three Lady Blazers in double figures in a 75-53 victory at Auburn Montgomery Friday evening.
The Lady Blazers improved to 15-2 on the year and 15-2 in Gulf South Conference play, while AUM fell to 0-8 and 0-8 in GSC Play. Along with Bernard, freshman Alexandria Smith added 13 points of 5 of 6 from the field with one triple and 2 of 2 from the line, while junior Kayla Frey chipped in ten points off the bench.
Bernard was named the Guardian Bank Blazer Player of the Game for her efforts Friday evening. The seven field goals made tied her career-high set earlier this season at Shorter (1/8/21), while the five made treys broke her previous best of four, set a number of times, with the last being against Shorter (1/22/21).
As a team, the Lady Blazers shot 29 of 61 from the field for 47.5 percent, while going 8 of 22 from beyond the arc (36.4) and 9 of 12 from the line. VSU held a 44-29 lead in rebounding and dominated inside to the tune of a 38-16 lead in points in the paint. The Lady Blazers held a 21-10 lead in points off turnovers for the game.
The Warhawks were led by 16 points off the bench from Tyra Johnson, while Savannah Nunn added 12 points off the bench also and starter Catlin Carter chipped in 13 points. The Warhawks shot 32.1 percent for the game, while going 6 of 26 from range and 13 of 20 from the line.
AUM started out with the early 4-0 lead, but the Lady Blazers followed with a 12-3 run capped with a layup from junior Abby Rouse for a 16-7 lead with 2:23 left in the first quarter. The Warhawks pulled within 16-10 on three charity tosses from Johnson, but Frey scored inside with 51 seconds left in the quarter for an 18-10 lead. VSU went 8 of 13 from the field in the first quarter for a game-best 61.5 percent from the field and held AUM to 2 of 9 from the field in the frame. AUM stayed close in the quarter, going 5 of 6 from the line.
A 15-7 start to the second quarter gave VSU a 33-17 lead with 4:09 left, capped off an offensive rebound from Bernard and a put back from graduate student Kwajelin Farrar. AUM got fire and used two triples from Johnson and a jumper from Nunn quickly cutting the deficit to 33-25 with 2:22 left in the half. Frey, once again, had the last bucket of the quarter giving VSU a 37-27 lead at intermission.
VSU used a 17-8 third quarter as the Blazers shot 50 percent on 6 of 12 from the field and 2 of 4 from range, while AUM was 3 of 13 from the field for the quarter. VSU capitalized for a 7-0 advantage in points off turnovers in the quarter, forcing six miscues by the Warhawks.
Heading to the fourth leading 54-35, the Lady Blazers used a 12-0 run followed an opening triple from Johnson for a 66-38 lead with 5:57 left. Sophomore Kendall Bollmer drew twine from distance capping the spurt. VSU kept the margin in the 20's for the remainder of the game and the 75-53 victory.
The 53 points allowed marked the tenth time this season VSU has allowed under 60 points in a game. It was the fifth-fewest points allowed this season by the Lady Blazers.
VSU and AUM will conclude the season-series Saturday at 3 p.m. ET in Montgomery, Ala. Fans can access links to live stats, audio/video streaming, ticket information and more at vstateblazers.com on the women's basketball schedule page. The game also will be broadcast on 94.3 WJEM FM with Spencer Van Horn having the call and online at foxsportsvaldosta.com.